2. Descend - Spring 2020
3. Transcend - TBD
4. The End - TBD
To my Daddy, although it will be a decade this year since you've been gone, not a day goes by where I don't miss you and wish you could see me follow my heart and accomplish my dreams...
To my husband, for not complaining about the messy house and piled up laundry on the days I spent writing. I love you, "Captain America."
To my children, for constantly pulling me back to reality and giving me perspective that only kids can. I love you all.
To my family, of blood or of love, for supporting me, even if they don't fully understand my wacky ways.
And most importantly to my sisterhood of women, who read every incarnation of every chapter, cheered me on every step of the way. The women who gave me critical feedback, asked all the right questions and supported me in my goal to write an INCLUSIVE story. Women helping women is the purest form of friendship there is and I am so grateful for you. Thank you for loving and supporting me.
Finally, thank you to my future readers...
Thank you for letting my world into yours.
-Leia Marie Gose
Author of Ascend
Before there was anything, there were two Deities; a God and a Goddess. They existed in the universe together, yet alone, creating planets and stars, building entire galaxies; within time, they became bored of their larger creations and began to create life. First the creatures were created, on this planet and that planet; animals, insects, birds, dinosaurs, anything they could think of that amused their magnificent minds. Scattering life across the galaxies they had made, the two Deities came together to bring something new, something different, something more evolved into existence… and so they designed humanity.
Together, the God and Goddess shaped a new star system, with new planets, just for their new creation. They spent time filling it with the best of their works from across their universe, producing a tapestry of planets and moons. Together, the God and the Goddess chose their finest animal species to inhabit the third world in their new system. The Goddess formed the fauna that lived on the land and under the sea. The God built the mountains and the rivers. The Goddess and the God smiled as they looked upon their world and, feeling it was ready, picked the most beautiful part of the planet, a lovely clearing filled with fruit-bearing trees, flowers and a gentle flowing river in the deepest heart of the thickest forest for their new project. Then, together, they created mankind.
The God spawned the First Man, a strong, tall, dark-skinned being he called Adam. As he imagined Adam, so he willed Adam into reality. The Goddess thought it was delightful for a first of the species, but she thought her creation should be special and so she created the First Woman, with fiery red hair, brilliant green eyes, flawless fair skin and rosy lips. As she imagined her, she willed her into being and called her Lilith. Unbeknownst to God, the Goddess had whispered into her creation the ability to manipulate the world around her, thereby creating not only the first woman, but the First Witch.
For a time, Lilith and Adam lived in peace and love. Exploring the world made just for them, they found joy and happiness. To understand their new species, The God composed rules for Adam, insisting that he not kill the other creatures and not eat from one fruit-bearing tree, but the Goddess had given Lilith no such restriction. The Goddess had given the First Woman the ability to produce magic and enjoyed watching Lilith learn to cast simple spells when she was in private. The Goddess smiled upon her and felt the love of a mother for her daughter. The God felt no such attachment.
Instead, the God saw potential in his construct, and with a need to control, The God commanded Adam to do his bidding. Adam served his God, praying and worshipping his God. Adam tried to command Lilith to worship his Creator too, but, like most independent young women, she refused to submit. Instead she focused on the other creatures around her, befriending the animals in the world that flourished around her. The First Man became angry at her, for ignoring him, for refusing to submit and he complained to the God that made him. The God began to watch the First Woman and, when He saw her using magic, the God grew angry with the Goddess for keeping secrets from him, casting Lilith from the magnificent garden the deities had created together.
The Goddess, in an effort to protect Lilith from the God’s wrath, hid her far from Adam and the God. She wrapped her creation in a protective cloaking spell and whispered the secret to magic into Lilith’s mind as she slept. Not long after she was ejected from the Garden that would later become known as Eden, Lilith found she was with child. The Goddess, seeking to protect her, blessed her pregnancy with the same gifts she’d bestowed unto the mother, whispering magic into their souls. Some time later, Lilith gave birth to Aya and Baan, the First Daughter and the First Son. The Goddess created other beings but withheld her gifts of magic from them, reserving that for the bloodline of the First Woman.
During this time, the God had created Eve from Adam’s Rib, shaping her like the First Woman and willing her to life. She would submit to Adam and worship the God. In time, the Goddess and her humans were forgotten, ignored by the God and erased from the history of Men. Later, religions would be created, wars waged and millions slaughtered to appease the God’s need to be worshiped.
For many centuries, Lilith, her children, their children and all the other children of the Goddess lived in relative peace, on the other side of what seemed so long ago to be a very large world. The Goddess watched happily as her children lived naturally, in tune with the earth magic around them, finding love with her other creations and creating more children, then more and more. Thousands of years passed, during which time some of the Goddess’s Children had created civilizations of wonder and awe, while others lived simply, happily, two large landmasses filled with the Goddess’s creations and She was happy too.
Sadly, all things do not last forever and the Children of God came to the beautiful, undisturbed, peaceful lands of Lilith’s descendants. First in small groups, some from the west and some from the east. The Goddess’s Children fought off these incursions for a time. Eventually, there came a man claiming to have discovered a rich bounty for their taking and he brought others with him. The Children of God slaughtered and enslaved the Goddess’s people, destroying their homes and stealing their lands. The Goddess tried to save Her people but the God stopped her, having grown powerful through the worship of His followers. She was no match as She had never demanded to be revered. Helplessly, the Goddess watched as her lands were pillaged, raped and destroyed by the Children of God. Lilith, the First Witch and an immortal being, hid away, escaping towards the isolated mountains where no man dare go.
Lilith’s children, however, had long ago altered their fate. Aya had realized her mortality and became a creature of darkness. Having cursed herself while attempting to prolong her life, she was now forced to live off the blood of others to survive. She sought to find her children and give them her resistance to aging, turning only those who consented into the first Vampires, birthing a new species. Baan, a natural immortal, had many children with many women, although he did not parent them, feeling that they were beneath his immortality. One day, one of those sons, long angry with Baan for the abandonment, sought him out and, accompanied by a coven of powerful witches descended from his line, came with large wolves and attacked him on a Full Moon, hoping to strip him of his immorality. In desperation, Baan took on wolf form to fight the attackers, becoming stronger and larger than the natural wolves. He won the night but later learned that any male descendants who came after were cursed by the bloodline, forced to turn into wolves every full moon. Only his daughters retained access to their hereditary magic. The remaining witches and warlocks, having realized the danger the Children of God brought to their lands, hid themselves under protective spells, secreting their magic away and hiding in plain sight as one of the Children of God.
Wars raged on the Goddess’s lands, the Creatures of Night were hunted by the Children of God, killed or worse and so eventually, when the Creatures of Night vanished from their known world, the Children of God felt they’d won. The truth of it was, however, that the Children of the Goddess, the witches and warlocks, the vampires and werewolves, still existed in the shadows and in the night. Hiding, biding their time, until it would be safe to return to the light of day.